Alan Caswell Collier (1911-1990)
Born in Toronto, Alan Collier studied under J.E.H. MacDonald, and Franklin Carmichael at the Ontario College of Art (1929-33). Following graduation, he travelled across the country on a relief gang, and worked as a miner to earn enough money to study at the Art Students’ League in New York City. During his studies, he returned to mining from time to time to enable him to continue with his education.
In 1951 his background in mining became the inspiration for a series of paintings depicting the underground work environment, an interest that spanned several years. He also made annual road trips with his family to paint Canadian landscape. He received a commission from Standard Oil in 1963 to paint landscapes along the Trans-Canada Highway.
Collier was elected a member of the Ontario Society of Artists in 1952. He taught advertising art at the Ontario College of Art from 1955 to 1967 at which time he devoted himself to painting on a full-time basis. His main medium was oil, but he also painted in watercolour and acrylics. In addition to landscape, Collier is known for his portraiture. His compositions are masterful in their simplicity.